We’re listing the ten Games of the Decade. These are the ten PlayStation titles released over the past ten years that we believe have left a historic mark on the industry. Whether it’s Destiny's impact on the Games as a Service space or Journey’s innovative approach to online connectivity, these are the releases that the industry will be referencing well into 2020 and beyond.
A decade ago, the term Games as a Service simply didn't exist. While the PlayStation 3 had the capabilities to connect to the Internet, buy and download games off the PlayStation Store, and participate in online multiplayer, it was a set of features that only went so far. Video games needed more powerful hardware and a better network infrastructure to take the next step, and so when the PlayStation 4 brought about the current generation, the concept of the live game was born. Working in tangent with the Games as a Service model, it's the type of title every publisher on the planet hopes to achieve success with. Many have done it since, but Destiny was the first to do it on consoles in a major way and the series has remained one of the biggest of the lot ever since.
Destiny was a complete and utter disaster at launch -- we all know that. Players were starved of content following a campaign which was over all too quickly, leaving them to wait for the Vault of Glass raid and the two pieces of DLC promised as part of the Expansion Pass. The future wasn't looking bright for Bungie's first new IP since Halo, but Games as a Service arguably wouldn't be what they are today without that stumble.
It put the developer on the back foot. In a quest for redemption, it would take Bungie another year to truly redeem itself with the launch of Destiny: The Taken King -- an expansion very much shaped by the feedback of fans. From that moment onwards, Destiny became a feel-good story akin to that of No Man's Sky, but it had been laying the groundwork for that turning point for much of 2015. And it's the Games as a Service model which we have to thank for that.
No longer do developers need to choose if they're going to patch or update something, it's a matter of when. The live model allows for daily and weekly resets, meaning that the game you were playing yesterday could look entirely different 24 hours later. Destiny was a game that reacted to its community -- unlocking new content as Fireteams mastered challenges and reached new heights.
This sort of stuff simply wasn't possible a few years before the game's launch on consoles, making for an experience which some players committed all of their free time to. Themed holiday events gave the hardcore something to do between content drops, vendors cycled in and out along with their inventory on a weekly basis, and rare exotic weapon drops quickly gave Guardians something to grind for. Raids became a gigantic community moment as the race for the world's first completions gripped Twitch. Leading community members rose to the top through focuses on lore and skilled gameplay. Games as a Service is just as much about the title itself as it is the community that grows around it.
The Division and ANTHEM don't exist without Destiny's success. Are Overwatch's holiday events what they are today without Destiny doing them first? Do loot-based games on consoles become as popular as they are without Bungie's presence? Some games in the years since might have done it better, but the Games as a Service concept isn't the same without Destiny.
It taught developers that redemption can be achieved in the face of a poor product on launch if you make a pledge and commit to continuous, free updates, patches, and fixes. Games as a Service isn't just a content roll-out method which gives a community something to engage with on a daily basis, it's also a way to make up for your failings and capitalise on second chances. Destiny is proof of that.
What do you make of Destiny's influence on the Games as a Service model? Do you think it's as important as we make it out be? Make a new character in the comments below.